Calton Hill

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Calton Hill: Our most recommended tours and activities

Comedy Horror Show: Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour

1. Comedy Horror Show: Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tour

Enjoy a theatrical sightseeing tour of Edinburgh onboard the Ghost Bus, a beautifully refurbished vintage double-decker, painted in traditional midnight black. Learn about Edinburgh’s grave robbers, plague victims, and the ghosts that reside in the most haunted city in Europe. Explore the city's gruesome past, while admiring its most famous monuments, including Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket, Greyfriar's Kirk, Holyrood Palace, and the Royal Mile. As you traverse the Old Town and New Town, visit the sites of murders, tortures, and executions. Hear about the infamous Burke and Hare, and the hundreds of women who were drowned or burned as witches. The bus, which belonged to the Necropolis Bus Company, boasts decorative features that include atmospheric lamps and window curtains. In 1967, the entire fleet was destroyed in a mysterious fire, and only one bus survived.

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City Sightseeing Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

2. City Sightseeing Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Tour Edinburgh to your own schedule on the open-top sightseeing bus, and enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the lively city. Compare Edinburgh's Old Town, where families lived in cramped conditions and rubbish was thrown out of the windows, to the elegant Georgian New Town, with its 3 main streets and square at either end. Hear about the hangings that took place in the Grassmarket as you marvel at the impenetrable Castle Rock above you, and hear about historic attempts to capture Edinburgh Castle. Drive along the Royal Mile, which joins Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Use the 24-hour ticket to hop on and off as you please. With great visitor attractions, museums, galleries, and restaurants to suit every taste and budget, Edinburgh's got it all! Buses run every 30 minutes, making the following loop: Tour Stops: 1. St Andrew Square - Northside 2. Lothian Road - Waldorf Astoria 3. Grassmarket 4. Lauriston Place 5. Johnstone Terrace - Edinburgh Castle, The Scottish Whiskey Experience 6. Lawnmarket - Gladstone's End, The Real Mary King's Close 7. Chambers Street - National Museum of Scotland 8. St Mary's Street West 9. Canongate - John Knox House 10. Royal Mile - Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyrood House 11. Dynamic Earth 12. Regent Road - Burns Monument

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Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

3. Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

Meet some of Edinburgh's most infamous characters on a fun ghost walk through the dark side of the city center. Learn more about Burke and Hare and hear tales of witch burning, grave robbing, body snatching and mysterious murders. Start on the Royal Mile, where plundered tombs, funeral pyres and mass graves from thousands of years ago are concealed. Get goosebumps as the past is brought to life by your guide and venture to gruesome burial sites such as the Canongate Kirkyard. Prepare to be spooked by spine-chilling tales of real-life cannibals and vampires as the true history of Edinburgh is recreated before your eyes.  

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Edinburgh: 2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour

4. Edinburgh: 2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour

The city of Edinburgh has witnessed its fair share of bloody events, murders and witch burnings throughout history. The echoes of these events have survived through time and have left their mark on the alleys and cemeteries that you will travel through on this exciting night tour.  On this tour of ghosts, mysteries and witches, you will take a 2-hour journey through the black history of Edinburgh. Take a stroll through Edinburgh, away from the stock standard attractions and travel back to a time of mystery. With your guide, enjoy a series of stories and visual projections that will give you insight into the dark history of Edinburgh. This tour is an essential part of your stay in Edinburgh and one not to be missed. 

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Edinburgh: Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Walking Tour

5. Edinburgh: Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Walking Tour

Solve riddles on your smartphone as you explore some of the main tourist sights in Edinburg. Learn about the city as you go. Download the app and head over to the starting point at the Scott Monument. Use the map to navigate to each location as you complete challenges. Pause at any time to take a break or do some sightseeing.

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Edinburgh: Pirate Treasure Hunt City Discovery Game

6. Edinburgh: Pirate Treasure Hunt City Discovery Game

Discover Edinburgh's history and main locations from a pirate's perspective on this treasure hunt. Meet your guide at Calton Island, where your game will begin. After a short introduction, get kitted out with all the tools you will need to complete the game. The kit comes in a bag that has all the clues and tools you need to work through and a treasure map with a route to follow. Once the game begins, use the tools provided along with elements of the city to crack codes, open padlocks, and move forward in the pirate-themed game. Wander around Calton Island and Regent River to solve clues and discover landmarks such as the Royal Observatory, Nelson Monument, Burns Monument, and some other off-the-beaten-track locations. At the top of the hill, enjoy panoramic views of the entire city.

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Edinburgh: Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour

7. Edinburgh: Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour

Follow in the footsteps of the author Arthur Conan Doyle on this walking tour of Edinburg. Discover the city through his experiences. Start at Greyfriars Cemetery in the Old Town. See the University of Medicine and hear some fascinating stories from the Surgeon's Hall. Walk through New Town to the author's birthplace. Along the way, find out about the fascinating connections between Edinburgh and the world of Sherlock Holmes.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Calton Hill

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What people are saying about Calton Hill

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,384 reviews

Jen was amazing! So fun and engaging and even though it was freezing it was a great two hours in the cold with fascinating stories and history

This tour was was excellent. Very informative and we saw parts of Edinburgh that we didn’t know existed. Would definitely recommend this tour.

Excellent service. Always on time. Friendly drivers and guides. Good information. Made getting around easy and comfortable.

Beautiful tour with incredible sights while learning about the history of Edinburgh.

Great tour, very knowledgeable staff and very helpful